Calcite With Copper Inclusions, on Copper
Small Cabinet, 5.8 x 5.3 x 4.2 cm
Quincy Mine, Hancock, Houghton Co., Michigan, USA
Ex. California Institute of Technology

Classic material from Michigan, these copper-calcite combos are seldom seen in such aesthetic form. This specimen features a 5 cm doubly-terminated crystal perched on a hackly copper matrix, which adds contrast in both color and form. The crystal is remarkably clear and transparent, and has fine oriented patterning striations on the frontal faces which lend it more visual interest than a simple scalenohedron might otherwise seem to have. Most large crystals are tipped, but this one has a complete termination. It is in fact complete, all around, except only a very shallow bit of edge wear on the leading edge (not seen from the front unless you look for it). And, this can be treated to minimize it with acid in any case, but I have chosen not to over-clean and brighten ("modernize") the specimen as its so good the way it is, anyhow. An accenting sidecar calcite crystal makes the piece extra special, though! The 1.4-cm-long gem, transparent, doubly-terminated crystal to the right is perched upon a pedestal of bright native copper, and is perfect. For the size range, this is simply a jewel, and one of the rarer examples of these calcites perched on copper, instead of invested heavily with copper. From the collection of California Institute of Technology (#718), by exchange to a private collector some time ago. This is attributed to the collection of TF Cole, which was donated to CalTech in the early 1900s. He was a noted and important mine manager in Michigan's Copper Country heyday, circa the early 1900's. Although no mine name was given, we presume by comparison that this is from the Quincy Mine, and certainly from its lode which produced similar styles as seen in the Seaman museum today. Joe Budd photos